Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: October 10, 2398

Ramses injected the AI he took from the abandoned Constant into the Olimpia, and programmed it to fly itself to the Kerguelen Islands so that it could pick Mateo up, and bring him home. He didn’t have time to do anything else, and now he’s glad that he did that. Marie was poisoned last night, and there so far appears to be no cure. The doctors don’t know what exactly is wrong with her, but the disease is incredibly aggressive, and her body is already starting to shut down. She might not last more than a day or two unless something drastic is done. He has one idea, but he can’t do it on his own. He needs their vehicle back, and fortunately, it’s forgoing aerial and noise regulations, and landing right now.
Mateo jumps out of the door before the wheels make contact with the ground. “Do we have enough Existence water to make it to the triangle?”
“It’s hard to calculate,” Ramses says as he’s wheeling the tank towards him. “It will get us closer, and that’s the best we can do. Then we’ll have more than enough to conjure the copy of the AOC.”
Mateo reaches out to help carry it up and down into the engineering section.
“No! Don’t touch it. Don’t touch anything.”
Mateo frowns, but nods. “I’m coming anyway. You may need me.”
“I know.”
As Ramses is loading the temporal energy-infused water into the special engine, Mateo sees Angela running towards them from the basement garage. “Where is he?”
“He’s inside,” Mateo answers.
“He didn’t tell me that you were on your way. He was going to leave with me.”
“I’m sure he was just distracted,” Mateo says to her, unsure if it’s really true.
“I’m coming!” she cries down to Ramses.
“I was trying to protect you!” he yells back.
“I’m trying to protect my sister!” she snaps.
“Okay,” Mateo tries to mediate. “We’re all here. Let’s take off and go.”
“No time for take off,” Ramses says as he’s drying off his hands on a rag.
“That’s dangerous,” Mateo reminds him. “It could damage the pavement, and the transporter.”
“No time!” Ramses contends. “If you hadn’t gotten lost, we wouldn’t be in this mess! Olimpia, teleport to the center of the Bermuda Triangle!”
Preparing to teleport.
“Hold onto something,” Angela warns.
A lot of good that does them. Half of the Olimpia survives the jump with them, and not the half that you think. It’s split down the middle hotdog-wise. All three passengers managed to be on the right side, but they’re in trouble. They fall out of the sky, kind of like how they did over the Arctic circle. Luckily, they’re not more than ten meters high. The seat cushions are floating devices, like one might find in a regular airplane. They each find one to cling onto, and try to catch their breaths.
“Please tell me that you at least still have the remote,” Angela asked.
“These pockets have zippers,” Ramses says. He takes it out. “Don’t worry, it’s waterproof too.”
Angela takes out her phone. “Do you see where we are? It looks pretty close to the center to me.” The closer they are to the center of the Bermuda Triangle, the stronger the temporal energy is.
“These aren’t the coordinates that I was hoping for, but it’s not like we can fly or boat our way the rest of the way. I’ll just have to try it here.” He gets himself better situated on his cushion, then brushes the droplets off of his face, and spits out the salt. Then he dips the remote into the water.
“Wait, that’s all you have to do,” Angela questions, “dip it in?”
“It’s designed to absorb temporal energy, in any form. If this doesn’t work then we are not getting the AOC back, and we’re not going to be able to put Marie in a stasis pod, and she’s going to die. So do you want to ask more questions, or do you want to try to save her?”
“Go ahead.”
Ramses presses the button.
The magnificent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears out of nowhere, right on top of the surface of the water. It’s really nice to have it back, if only a copy. Then again, it’s not the first copy they’ve used. Time, right? Their relief is short-lived when the bottom of the ship begins to disappear.
“Ram,” Angela says.
“I know.” Ramses gets on his stomach and starts to furiously paddle himself towards it.
“Ram, it’s sinking,” Angela furthers.
“I know!” he repeats.
“Ram!” Mateo cries.
“I said I know!”
“Stop swimming, it’s just gonna suck you under!”
The thing goes down fast. Before they know it, it’s gone. Ramses slaps the water angrily. I didn’t design it to float, but it still may have. Why didn’t I design it to float?”
Mateo notices something out of the corner of his eye. “That thing is floating.”
Ramses looks over at it. “That’s the satellite. Well, it’s part of a satellite. It can theoretically scan every consciousness in the world, and determine an approximate age by estimating the number of memories that the individual has developed through the accumulation of neural connections. It’s even programmed to attach itself to a preexisting satellite, I just have no way of getting it into space.”
“That’s how you’re trying to find Meredarchos,” Angela acknowledges.
“No,” Mateo says. “That’s how we find the Insulator of Life.” He gets on his stomach too, and starts to paddle towards the debris.
“Mateo, what are you doing?” Ramses asks. “Mateo, you’re not seriously thinking of trying to go up there, are you?”
“Mateo, don’t! You’ll die!”
He reaches the device, and fishes it out. It’s lighter than he would have thought. “Listen, there’s something that I never knew if I should mention, but I think we all know that those Vertegens gave you immortality water, and they obviously did it in the right order, but they didn’t give you all of them. You don’t have time to find the rest right now, but if you can’t get Marie into the Insulator, getting yourself into it may work. That is the whole point of Time water. I love you all.” He disappears.

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